Is Orange the right car colour for Nissan?

Nissan has been having some fun here, with spare marketing money to spend, and women in mind.

Silly us – it seems we may have been buying the wrong coloured cars – what we need are ones to match our personalities.

Fortunately we can now check the right colour (of Nissan Micra) online, using a Chatbot app at Facebook. What a relief.

Apparently our choice of car colour has nothing to do with delivery times or the number of freshly painted new cars sitting in a field somewhere waiting for buyers.

It’s more to do with conservative colour choices and sensitivity on behalf of others. For example, maybe you’ve always really wanted a bright pink car to reflect your feminine side but didn’t buy one because you’re thinking about the resale value or flak from the PinkStinks brigade…

Both excellent reasons not to buy pink I’d have said (in a deep voice) but you wouldn’t be doing your personality justice on our roads says Nissan (who did have a pink Micra).

Here are the ‘facts’ from Nissan research into 5000 European car buyers.
+ 86% have chosen the wrong-coloured car for their personality type
+ Approximately two-thirds went for more traditional / conservative colours
+ 38% are currently driving a grey or black vehicle
+ 53% claimed colour had impacted their vehicle choice
+ Of those, more than half claimed to have selected their favourite colour

So we asked colour psychologist Karen Haller to interpret these for us in the light of Brexit negotiations.

She explained…

“Social factors always come into play with colour choices. For example, in times of economic uncertainty (seen by the Remainers perhaps) we’d play it safe and pick a car with a neutral palette – such as black, white or grey. So I’m not surprised that two-thirds of motorists are driving more conservative shades.”

Human response to colour goes right back to early childhood we’re told. It’s not always determined by symbolism or an association, but by in-built ‘hard wiring’ over which we have no control.

But with new and high-energy colours like orange reflecting energetic, fun and optimistic traits maybe this’d appeal more to UK Brexiteers?

And with Nissan set to bump up car production in Sunderland based on Brexit plans, we’d expect this optimism to convert into many orange car sales in 2018…

If you want to find out what colour car suits your personality, best ask a Nissan car dealer about your choices but if you’d like to know more, there’s a new Facebook Page called Nissan’s innovative Chatbot.

We hope you’ll tell us about your car colour choices at FOXY’s Facebook Page please…


FOXY Lady Drivers Club

Classic wedding cars

Natalie TA Wedding

With so much attention focused on weddings, how you arrive on the day is surely almost as important as who you are with or marrying. Which is why Natalie Turner’s stylish choice of two Citroen Traction Avant (TA) cars made for an impressive choice on her big day.

The bride travelled in a 1936 TA limo with her bridesmaids following hot on her heels in a 1949 TA Light 15.

Natalie explained: “It’s impossible not to be enthusiastic about classic cars working at Footman James Insurance and it seemed only fitting that I should honour this on my wedding day! We had so many comments about them on the day; they were definitely the right choice for such an occasion. We were absolutely delighted with the continental touch and the photos will have pride of place in our new home!”

The 1936 Traction Avant Limousine is a French classic car, manufactured by Citroen from 1934 to 1957. Natalie’s car was one of the earlier models, having been made in 1936 at the Quai de Javel car plant in Paris. A left hand drive, the limousine version means extra classic luxury for the driver and up to five passengers.

Natalie’s bridesmaids were transported in the Citroen Traction Avant Light 15 model, manufactured between 1934 and 1957. Their car – a right hand drive – was built in 1949 at the UK Slough factory and is highly sought after because of its stylish design, red leather seats, wooden dashboard and trim.

Both cars were hired from Avant Wedding Cars, based in Swindon and the wedding between bridegroom Chris Turner and Natalie took place at St Mary’s Church in Kingswinford, followed by a reception at the Mercure Kidderminster in Bewdley.


Club members wanting to arrange a classic Citroen car for their wedding should contact the FOXY Lady Drivers Club Helpdesk for advice and contacts.

Buying a car in tears…

Screenshot-4A recent Inside Out South on BBC TV featured a lady who had a nasty car shopping experience involving an unscrupulous car dealer in Hampshire.

Her husband suffers from dementia, they drove a smart and immaculate low mileage 59 plate Citroen C3 and they’d been tempted by a VIP invitation to attend a car showroom sales event. No harm in that, surely?

When they got there the wife was sufficiently impressed by the promotion to say she was interested in a new car and to pay £1000 deposit towards a new car. I didn’t catch the model concerned.

A little later on, the car in question was delivered to her door. It wasn’t new, it had higher mileage than her C3 and there were considerable signs of wear and tear. It looked much worse than her own car. Needless to say she said she wasn’t happy and didn’t want to buy this. “Can I have my money back?”

Out came the verbal thumbscrews.

“You said you wanted this.” “I got this car specially for you.” “The deposit is non refundable”… as this unscrupulous salesman digs in for his commission here.

Then we heard about the price. A car that was worth £4240 as a trade price had been valued at £2700 when used in part exchange. A £1500 rip off and that’s before they marked it up on their website to £5800. Outrageous.

Happily she had family to turn to (often they don’t) and presumably the son or daughter alerted Jon Cuthill at the BBC. Needless to say, in the face of this publicity, the dealer admitted defeat, said they would not take things further and gave the lady her money back.

She’d learned a big lesson. Don’t pay a deposit for a car you haven’t seen. Or when you’ve got a perfectly nice and fairly new one…

Stress had taken its toll of course. Nobody gets compensation for feeling daft.

“I never thought I’d buy a car in tears.”

“I wake up in the morning and wish this would go away.”

“I’m scared they’ll come and take our car away.”

“It completely ruined a special anniversary.”

But as the likes of consumer programmes know, to get the customer out of tricky situations like this often involves promising not to tell others the name of the business. That’s what irritates me most because I fervently believe in naming and shaming – especially in an industry where salesman don’t have to be licensed to sell us cars ethically. And where too many salesmen are totally unprincipled here, targeting vulnerable ladies as was the case here.

Yes, we’ve had to remove public blogs to get members a settlement too… but only after we’ve told local ladies the facts and who the offender was. This is what we do within the Club after giving a business time to put things right where possible.

If the business doesn’t budge and clearly doesn’t care, we award them Red Cards and keep poking them via blogs like this and using social media. I wish I knew the car dealer in Hampshire that used such bully-like tactics here. I’d be delighted to give them a good poke today…


Why does anyone buy a bad car?

Why do people buy car brands and models which seem forever at the bottom of independent car reliability charts?

In simple terms if motorists only ever bought the ‘best’ cars we’d need fewer car brands or models for sale. There’d be less scrappage, longer lasting environmentally-friendly cars but fewer franchised dealerships/car sales jobs.

There’d also be less choice at car shopping time and less competition to keep prices low – but presumably there’d be fewer complaints and more satisfied motorists?

I doubt it’s quite as simple as that but I hope you get my point…

Most women are practical car shoppers, come the time, but it’s also true we can buy with our hearts and not our heads. I hear ‘it looked so lovely on the forecourt’ many times when helping members sort out problems later.

I also know many high flying business women who need cars to ferry exhibition and promo materials around yet they buy sports cars with no onboard space. I’m thinking of one in particular with a tribe of young children who really needs a MPV or estate car but chose a pricey, high emissions, small booted Mini… But I’d never dare question or advise her otherwise!!

Whilst we women are good shoppers on the High Street we’re not always as well informed about cars and there’s something semi-irresistible about certain stylish brands or a fantastic used car deal, that we then wish we HAD resisted after we buy one.

Cars that Perform and Disappoint

Take for example the Dacia range of cars. They come in at the top of most surveys for remarkable value for money (because they are really cheap) and they top the Which? survey for reliability (but not the JD Power one). They are so basic there’s surely little that can go wrong? Yes, you won’t find them as enjoyable to drive as others in the same group but perhaps this isn’t important to you. But when you know to compare their Duster, for example, with other SUVs you’ll find it performs badly in crash tests and that there’s a lack of safety features too. This sort of thing does matter to most of us, I’d suggest.

Maybe you think that luxury brands are likely to perform better, at the opposite end of the budget scale, but there are winners and losers there too. For example, Land Rover scores badly for reliability and the new Discovery Sport (2015-) seems to have more than its fair share of electrical faults according to the new Which? Car Guide 2017/18.

See below for 2017 JD Power survey results, just released.

Tesla sits at the bottom of the Which? brand reliability chart for battery and electrical issues but for those that can afford their £61000 Model S, the car’s performance is rated at 5 star probably because it’s such an impressive trailblazer, we all admire Elon Musk and hopefully Teslas will become more affordable for the rest of us in due course.

Sticking with new technology, after big success with its ground breaking hybrid Prius, Toyota is trailblazing again with its hydrogen car, the Mirai. Whilst there are too few hydrogen filling stations as yet, this will surely change soon because these cars can recharge in minutes which will give hydrogen-fuelled cars the edge re range and emissions compared to yesterday’s hybrids and electric car competitors?

Consistently Reliable Brands

As you might expect, some brands and models are consistently reliable performers. Mazda’s MX5 is probably the most reliable sports car there is and the Mercedes-Benz SLK (2011-2016 models) does well in a different price bracket – but if there’s a problem it’ll be expensive to fix. And whilst Audi’s A3 Saloon is top of the Medium size car group it’s a Dieselgate VW Group offender together with excessive emission levels that would fail the old Euro 1 standard.

We particularly like Volvo and Suzuki Cars (and have special affinity deals to make sure women do too) so we weren’t at all surprised to see these brands perform (2nd and 4th respectively) in the 2017 JD Power’s UK Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) with Kia at the top, Skoda in 3rd place and Hyundai in 5th.

We like this survey because it comes from owners and not from a PR company.

Whereas, at the bottom of the VDS you’ll find Dacia, Fiat, Land Rover, Audi and BMW listed (from 5th bottom to bottom) which might come as a shock to many of these owner drivers.

Disappointing Car Brands

Whereas after Dieselgate, it’s unsurprising to see VW near the bottom of a UK brand reliability chart alongside Vauxhall with so many Zafiras and Corsas bursting into fire.

There are many brands and models in between all survey extremes but the purpose of this blog is to remind you to do your car buying homework before you buy any new car that isn’t at the top of your chart. You’ll soon know why if you do AND you could end up wasting time, money and stress sorting out problems that could have been avoided.

Of course, after you’ve decided on the car, you then need to decide if you buy the car online or at a local dealer. Just remember that if things go wrong after you buy, you may be expected to return it to the selling dealer to put right. And do you really want to travel hundreds of miles each way to get this sorted?

If you buy a car and it develops a fault within six months, make sure you know your rights within the Consumer Rights Act. You have rights within six months of purchase even if your dealer doesn’t acquaint you of these and how to claim them.

If things go wrong and you’d like commonsense 1:1 advice from me, you’ll need to be a Classic Member of first. You’ll hear me start by saying things like ‘Be reasonable at all times and don’t lose your rag’ because cars do go wrong, it’s always stressful, these things are never simple/sorted overnight and ‘nice’ people get the most help, even if they have to resort to law afterwards. Whereas those that lose their cool and start threatening businesses usually get no help at all which makes it hard for me to intervene, reasonably, on any member’s behalf, at any time.


PS: The basis of this blog has been informed by the Which? Car Guide 2017-18, the 2017 JD Power UK Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) plus a wealth of anecdotal experience.

Women-only train carriages

WARNING. This blog is about gender and alleged sexism. I make no excuses for the fact that my views won’t please all women or men – who are as entitled to their views as I am mine.

In her ‘My View’ article in yesterday’s I-News, Laura Bates takes issue with the suggestion of women-only train carriages after shockingly-high levels of sexual harassment and assault on public transport. Which she has personally experienced as the founder of The Everyday Sexism Project.

Laura says that ‘Segregation sends the message that all men are innate sexual predators with no control’ and to get this politically-correct message across Laura is being paid handsomely to perpetuate this myth with a full page in The Independent.

What tosh. This is how it works Laura…

If I am travelling with men I am happy to sit with them.

If I am travelling alone, on a busy train during the day, I am probably happy to sit anywhere I can get a seat.

But if I am travelling alone on a near empty train carriage or late at night I would definitely choose a women-only carriage, given the choice.

Trivial comment follows – Especially if it had a smart coffee bar onboard, as in the FOX Photos/Getty image in the newspaper article.

My reasons for this are simple. It’s all about female perceptions, attitudes and choice.

Segregation makes me feel safer and is surely a matter of personal choice. I enjoy most female company, unless they are behaving badly, which is why I am a member of the WI, the Athena Business Network and Mumpreneurs Networking Club.

And anyone who tells me that women and men behave the same in these environments simply hasn’t experienced the gender differences. And I like to choose which environment suits me best, per occasion.

Of course segregation is no alternative to the Police doing their job but it’ll likely reduce sexual assaults and make it easier for the Police to do their job. And if the Unions could convince me that they’d use a second person on driver only trains to keep us all safer, I’d support their campaign on this basis alone.

Finally, I don’t want anyone telling me what I should or should not do, Laura Bates. Just tell me the facts and present your readers with choices.

A ‘Report It To Stop It’ campaign does nothing to make me feel safer travelling alone at night. If I am assaulted and a women-only carriage might have prevented this, why aren’t you using your considerable clout to advance this case thus making travelling by train safer and more fun for female rail travellers who feel like me?


Blogs For Women Drivers (2009-2017)